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MÜHLENBERG, Henry Melchior (1711-1787)

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MÜHLENBERG, Henry Melchior (1711-1787). German-American clergyman, b. Einbeck, Hanover, Germany. Ordained in Lutheran church (1739); to U.S. (1742) to serve as pastor to congregations in Pennsylvania; did constructive pioneer work in organizing Lutheran churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York; organized (1748) Evangelican Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, first American synod; known as virtual founder of Lutheranism in America. Three of his sons, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807), Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (1750-1801), and Gotthilf Henry Ernest Mühlenberg (1753-1815), all b. Trappe, Pa., became Lutheran clergymen. John was ordained (1772); served in American Revolution; brigadier general (1777); supported Anthony Wayne in assault on Stony Point; second in command under von Steuben (1780); stormed British redoubts at Yorktown (1781); brevetted major general (1783); vice president of Pennsylvania (1785-88); member, U.S. House of Representatives (1789-91, 1793-95, 1799-1801) and U.S. Senate (1801). Frederick Augustus, ordained (1770), was a member of Continental Congress (1779-80); member of U.S. House of Representatives (1789-97) and first speaker. Gotthilf Henry, ordained (1770), served as pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Lancaster,Pa. (1780-1815); first president of Franklin College (1787); interested himself in botanical studies. Gotthilf Henry' s son Henry Augustus Philip (1782-1844), also a Lutheran clergyman (from 1804); member of U.S. House of Representatives (1829-38); first U.S. minister to Austria (1838-40). Gotthilf Henry' s grandson Frederick Augustus (1818-1901), also a Lutheran clergyman (from 1855); taught at Franklin Coll. (1840-50), Pennsylvania Coll. (1850-67); first president, Muhlenberg Coll. (1867-76); professor, U. of Pennsylvania (1876-88); president, Thiel Coll. (1891-93). A grandson of Frederick Augustus Conrad William Augustus (1796-1877) was a Protestant Episcopal clergyman (from 1820); rector in New York City (1846-58); founder of first American order of deaconesses (1852) and of St. Luke' s Hospital, New York, with which he was associated from 1858; author of a number of hymns.

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